Tuesday, November 12, 2013

On The Road Again

I'm flying out to Maryland today for a two and a half day meeting hosted by my office.  Friday is a half-day, but I was suckered into invited to attend a meeting following the first meeting.  I'm sooooo popular (ha).  The bright side is I'll land in Atlanta after 8:00 pm so I'll miss (hopefully) rush hour traffic out of downtown.

I am less than excited by the snow/rain forecast for the area I am headed to.  I like cool weather, but not cold.  And definitely not snow.  Snow = ice as far as I am concerned, and I had a bad ice experience the first winter we lived in Virginia.  Atlanta gets a lot less snow, but when we do it is like the Apocalypse. Everything shuts down for days, schools close and people drive even worse than normal.  I have heard there are some nice restaurants around the hotel, so I am looking forward to that.  Plus, sitting in a conference room for three days is like working, but really not.  Sorry, I can't return emails-I'm in a conference.  I hope you have a great week, and I hope I have no icy slip and fall incident to report next week.  : )

Friday, November 8, 2013

The Beauty of Broken- Book Review

"The Beauty of Broken" by Elisa Morgan is her personal story of coming from a broken family of origin and trying to create a perfect family once she was married and had children.  As you might imagine, no family is perfect.  Despite her best intentions and efforts, Elisa's family struggles with unplanned pregnancies, addiction, divorce and death.

I have mentioned in previous book reviews how I am drawn to personal stories that show people's weaknesses and struggles. If you are perfect, I can't relate to you AT ALL.  While I have not been through any of the struggles Elisa writes about specifically, I can relate to the pressure to put on a happy front and hide your problems from the world.

Elisa writes honestly about the difficulties she experienced once her parents divorced.  Elisa, her sister, mother and father all reacted to the divorce in different ways.  Elisa describes these reactions in an emotionally vulnerable way, but without blaming anyone. This description helped me understand why creating a "perfect" marriage and family was so important to her.  It is interesting to note that she was not trying to appear to be a perfect family- she truly wanted to create a perfect life for her husband and children.  

Elisa quite openly shares the struggles her children went through and how it affected Elisa.  While I don't agree with every parenting decision she and her husband made (specifically cutting off a child in an abusive relationship), I appreciate her explanation of how these decisions were made.  As the CEO of MOPS at the time, I would assume having a high profile position like that added more pressure to Elisa to hide any flaws.  I am glad she did not.  This book is a concrete story of what we all know- that no family is perfect- even in the families that look, well, perfect.

This book was provided to me by Booksneeze at no charge in exchange for my review, however all opinions expressed are my own.  

Thursday, November 7, 2013

E's Birthday

Earlier this week, we celebrated E's birthday.  My little baby is the big 0-5!  Hubs convinced her of the wisdom of opening some of the more fun toys on Sunday so she would actually have time to play with them. E is going through a "Monster High" phase/obsession right now, so she received a couple of dolls and a movie over the weekend.  (See the obligatory photo proof of her delight.)

It actually was a good idea for her to play with some things on Sunday because she wanted to go out to dinner on her actual birthday.  After work, we loaded everyone up to have dinner at the mall food court. That is seriously where she wanted to eat.  She wanted to eat at the mall and maybe, possibly, probably not get her ears pierced.  The ear piercing place just so happens to be close to Sephora.  By close, I mean within 1000 yards or so- that's close enough, right?  Well, someone decided to mention that McDonalds and Chickfila have play houses and wouldn't that be fun? Guess where we had a birthday dinner.  Yep- golden arches.  Gross.  G and I both despise McDonalds "food" and G is getting too big for the play houses now.  Physically, I mean.  She's about a half-inch shorter than I am.  She will still play the crap out of a play house if we let her.

Anyway, I had already given the obligatory parent (and completely false) assurance that "wherever E wants to go is great- it's her birthday", so I couldn't really justify giving the stink eye to that certain someone with all his great ideas.  I've never been so happy to leave a restaurant in my life. The highlight for me was the delicious chocolate cake from Bill Rhodes Bakery.  If you are ever in the Atlanta/Buford area, I cannot recommend this bakery highly enough.  We've had five or six cakes from them over the last three years and they are so delicious.  Even the cake part is good- and that is saying something for me!

Halloween begins the season of sugar and potential weight gain in our house.  We still had five pounds of Halloween candy before we brought in the birthday cake, then we'll have Thanksgiving and Hubs' birthday this month.  Next month is G's birthday and Christmas, which generally also involve sugar and deliciousness.  It is a good thing I started keeping up with my calories last week or I'd put on another 15 pounds by New Years.  (Fun fact- when I measure out food, I discover that I typically enjoy four servings of salad dressing on my salad or my "normal" diet is 90% carbs!) I did slice a mindfully small sliver of cake, but I savored the heck of it.  : )